The Missouri House has passed another bill that would expand the rights of gun owners and reduce the role of the state Department of Revenue.
House Bill 859's main purpose is to move the entire conceal carry application process from the Revenue Department to county sheriffs’ offices. But it would also lower the conceal carry age from 21 to 19, allow conceal carry holders to leave their weapons in their vehicles while at a place of business, and would allow K-12 schools to appoint armed protection officers. That provision sparked a sharp disagreement between State Representatives Stacey Newman, D-Richmond Heights, and Wanda Brown, R-Cole Camp.
“The presence of a handgun around children, whether it's in your school [or] whether it's in your home, increases the chances of someone getting hurt or dead," Newman said.
Brown and Newman then talked over each other, before Brown said, "people like you have fought for years to make those gun-free school zones, and look at what happened [in Newtown, Connecticut]...so if you want to talk about shameful, maybe you need to look in the mirror! Maybe you need to put some of the blame where the blame belongs!”
The bill passed 123 to 34, with 16 Democrats joining the GOP majority in voting "yes." It now goes to the Missouri Senate.
Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter: @MarshallGReport